Tag Archives: 37

Jesse Earle Riley

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 76

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JESSE EARLE RILEY, superintendent of city schools of St. Marys, was at one
time probably the youngest teacher in West Virginia, qualifying for his first
school when he was only fifteen. He has been alternately a student and teacher
ever since, is a Master of Arts from Bucknell University, and has an enviable
record as a teacher and school administrator.

Mr. Riley was born in Taylor County, West Virginia, near Bridgeport, March 27,
1888. In the same vicinity was born his father, James Riley, in October, 1848,
and the grandfather also bore the name James and was born in old Virginia in
1828. The Rileys came from Ireland and were Colonial settlers in Virginia.

James Riley, Sr., as a young man moved to the vicinity of Bridgeport, was
married there, and lived his life as a successful farmer. He died in 1913.

James Riley, Jr., learned a mechanical trade, but for the greater part of his
active life owned and managed an extensive farm near Bridgeport and since 1921
has lived retired at Shinnston in Harrison County. He is a democrat, and a
very active member of the Baptist Church. He married Louisa Withers, who was
born in old Virginia in November, 1850. Their family consisted of eight
children: Effie, wife of Jonah Currey, a flour miller at Bridgeport; Leola,
who died at Enterprise, West Virginia, in 1909, aged thirty-five, wife of
Jesse Anderson, a farmer near Boothsville, West Virginia; Charles, a farmer
who died near Bridgeport in 1908, at the age of thirty-three; Leonard, a
mechanic and contractor at Shinnston; Marion, a general contractor at
Shinnston; Ora, wife of Minor Currey, who is in the lumber business at
Shinnston; Jesse Earle; and Truman, a general contractor at Bridgeport.

Jesse Earle Riley attended the rural schools of Taylor County, graduated from
Broaddus Institute, then located at Clarksburg, with the class of 1909, and
received his A. B. degree from Bucknell University at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania,
in 1914, and won his Master of Arts degree from the same institution in 1916.

He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Bucknell. During 1915
Mr. Riley also took special work in history and economics in West Virginia
University at Morgantown. As a youth of fifteen he was appointed to preside
over a rural school in Taylor County, and taught in rural districts four
years. In 1914 he became an instructor in Latin and registrar of Broaddus
Institute, remaining there a year. For two years he was teacher of science in
the high school of Portsmouth, Ohio, then superintendent of schools at
Harrisville, West Virginia, two years, principal of the high school of New
Martinsville two years, and in June, 1921, came to his present duties as
superintendent of city schools of St. Marys. St. Marys has a well organized
school system, there being six schools, a staff of twenty-five teachers, and a
scholarship enrollment of seven hundred.

Mr. Riley is a member of the West Virginia State Educational Association, and
during the war had an effective part in stimulating patriotism and teaching
Americanism in the schools and was also a worker in the various war drives at
Harrisville. He is a democrat in politics, a member of the Baptish Church, and
is affiliated with Shinnston Lodge No. 24, F. and A. M. Mr. Riley is a
stockholder in the Riley & Riley Company, general building contractors at
Shinnston, an organization in which the active members are his brothers,
previously mentioned.

At Washington, D. C., in 1917 Mr. Riley married Miss Ethel Heiter, daughter of
James 0. and Daisy (Kleckner) Heiter, residents of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Riley is a graduate of the Domestic Science Department of Bucknell
University, and for one year before her marriage was dietitian in the
university. The three eons of Mr. and Mrs. Riley are William born July 27,
1918, John Warren, born February 3, 1920, and Ellwood Withers, born November
20, 1921.

Joseph Frank Smith

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 26

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOSEPH FRANK SMITH, who is more familiarly known by his second personal name,
is successfully conducting a hotel in the Village of Cower, Webster County,
and is also the owner and operator of a well improved farm in this locality.
He was born in Pleasants County, West Virginia, August 4, 1866, and is a son
of George L. and Margaret E. (Frink) Smith, both natives of what is now
Preston County, this state, where the former was born in 1842 and the latter
in 1841, each having been reared on a pioneer farm in that county. After their
marriage the parents remained on a farm in Preston County until their removal
to Pleasants County, where George L. Smith purchased a farm, and he and his
wife passed the remainder of their lives on this homestead, he having
accumulated and developed a valuable farm estate of 285 acres and his
prosperity having represented the results of his own energetic and well
ordered activities, He and his wife were zealous members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and he was specially active in the work of its Sunday
school, Mr. Smith was a stalwart republican in politics, and was
loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, he having served as a member of the
school board of his district. He survived his wife by many years and was about
fifty-six years of age at the time of his death. Of their seven children there
are living at the time of this writing, in the spring of 1922: Joseph F., of
this sketch, the youngest of the number; William H., a prosperous farmer near
Cleveland, Ohio; and Mary, who is the widow of James Riggs and resides at St.
Marys, Pleasants County, West Virginia. All of the other children attained to

The home farm on which lie was born was the stage of the youthful activities
of Joseph Frank Smith, and his early educational discipline included that of
the high school at St. Marys. He initiated his independent career when he was
but sixteen years of age. He was employed in connection with the construction
of the railroad line from Parkersburg to Kenova, where he served as
superintendent of the work, and he continued his association with this line of
railroad development abort eight years. He purchased a lot in Buckhannon,
erected a house on the same and finally soul the property at a distinct
profit. After severing his connection with railroad construction he purchased
the Summit Hotel at Cowen, and later he purchased a tract of timber land. He
cut and manufactured the timber on this land, made development on the tract
and eventually sold the same for farm usages his financial returns from the
various activities aril the c sale having been very appreciable. He is now the
owner of the oldest farm in this section of the county, and has made, the same
one of the model places of this part of the state, the while lie has here
become a leader in the breeding and raising of Hereford cattle, improved
Duroc-Jersey hogs Shropshire sheep and White Leghorn poultry. His landed
estate in Webster County comprises 300 acres. His original hotel at Cowen was
destroyed by fire, and he then purchased the Central Hotel, which he has
since successfully conducted. To connection with farm industry and business
activities Mr. Smith has stood exponent of progressiveness, and the same may
be said of his attitude as a citizen, for he is always ready to lend
cooperation in the furtherance of measures and enterprises projected for the
general good of the community.

Mr. Smith has had much of leadership in connection with the councils and
campaign activities of the republican party in Webster County, and has served
as chairman of its executive committee for this county. When he was made the
party nominee for county sheriff he was defeated by only thirty-two votes,
in a county that at that time gave a normal democratic majority of 400 votes.
In the Masonic fraternity Mr. Smith is affiliated with Camden Lodge No. 107,
A. F. and A. AM; Sutton Chapter No. 29, R. A. M.; Sutton Commandery No. 16,
Knights Templar; and Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine in the City of

In 1894 Mr., Smith wedded Miss Dora E. Vance, who was reared and educated in
Webster County. They have three children: Hosea A. is a graduate of the
University of West Virginia: Ruth K. graduated from the State Normal School qt
Fairmont, and is, in 1922, in the extension department of agriculture in
connection with the University of West Virginia at Morgantown; and Joseph F.,
Jr., is a student in Augusta Military Academy at Fort Defiance, Virginia. Mr.
and Mrs. Smith are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which
he is serving as a member of the official board.

John B. Watson

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg 39

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOHN B. WATSON, M. D. For over thirty years Dr. Watson was performing his
duties as a physician and surgeon, and most of that time has been a resident
of St. Marys, his native town, in which he grew up and in which he has won the
recognition of old time friends and associates, both in a professional
capacity and as a high minded citizen.

Dr. Watson was born at St. Marys May 5, 1862. His grandfather, John Watson,
was born in England in 1807 and as a young man came to America and settled on
a farm near St. Marys, where he married Rosanna Barker, a native of Pleasants
County. John Watson was a millwright, and he and his wife spent the rest of
their years in and around St. Marys, where he died in 1894. The son, Andrew J.
Watson, was born in Pleasants County in 1840 and was for a number of years
identified with merchandising at St. Marys. In 1881 he removed to East
Liverpool, Ohio, where he lived practically retired until his death in 1917.

He was a democrat, and a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. His
wife was Miss Charlotte Core, who was born in Harrison County, West Virginia,
in 1838, and died at East Liverpool, Ohio, in October, 1920. Dr. Watson
is the oldest of their large family of children; Mamie, who lives at East
Liverpool, is the widow of William Good; Joseph C. was an oil well driller and
died at East Liverpool in 1920; Mrs. Flora F. Griffin lives at Toronto, Ohio,
where her husband is foreman in a pottery plant; William A. is foreman for the
Newell Street Railway Company at East Liverpool; Iva is the wife of William
Lawson a farmer, at East Liverpool; Charles is a motorman with the Newel
Traction Company at East Liverpool; Virdie lives at East Liverpool, where her
husband is employed in one of the pottery plants; and Andrew J. is a motorman
for the Newell Traction Company.

John B. Watson spent his early life in Pleasants County and attended rural
schools up to the age of thirteen and at that time began earning his own way.
He was employed by his father in shaving staves and also worked in the timber
until he was twenty-one. He came to manhood with a vigorous constitution
but only a common school education. He began the study of medicine under his
uncle, Dr. Joseph B. Watson, at St. Marys, and subsequently entered the
College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, where he graduated in 1887.

After graduating for nine and a half years Dr. Watson practiced at Lawrence in
Upshur County, and since then has performed his professional work at St.
Marys. His offices are on Second Street. Since 1920 he has been county health
officer and is a member in good standing of the State and American Medical
Associations. Dr. Watson is a democrat, has filled all the lay offices in
the Methodist Protestant Church, and is affiliated with St. Marys Lodge No.
41, A. F. and A. M., St. Marys Camp No. 20 Knights of the Maccabees, St. Marys
Lodge No. 22, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also belongs to the
Knights of Pythias and the Tribe of Ben Hur.

In 1889, at Friendly, West Virginia, Dr. Watson married Miss Linnie F.
Williamson. Two children were born to their marriage Sue Mary, who died at St.
Marys at the age of twenty-seven was the wife of Dr. Jed C. Wilcoxen, a St.
Marys dentist. The only son, Dr. J. Loomis Watson, graduated Doctor of Dental
Surgery from the University of Pittsburgh and was in the Student Army
Training Camp at Pittsburgh during the war. He is now practicing his
profession at Pittsburgh. Mrs. Watson is a daughter of Friend C. Williamson,
who was born in Tyler County, West Virginia, in 1842, and lived there all his
life. He had various business interests, and was an extensive dealer in fruit.

The town of Friendly in Tyler County was named for him, and he was living in
that community when he died in 1911. He was a democrat and was one of the
leading members of the Methodist Protestant Church in his vicinity. He was
also a Mason. Friend C. Williamson married Adelia Thorne, who was born in
Jackson County, West Virginia, in 1844, and is now living in Friendly. Mrs
Watson was educated in the public schools of Friendly, and before her marriage
was a milliner and dressmaker.

William Edward Clovis

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 38

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

WILLIAM EDWARD CLOVIS. During the past seven years Mr. Clovis has devoted his
entire time and energies to a very successful and prosperous automobile
business as an authorized agent for the Ford car in Pleasants County. His
career altogether has been one of well directed effort in different lines. He
has been a teacher, is former sheriff of Pleasants County, and probably is as
well known over the county as any other citizen.

His family has been in West Virginia for several generations. The name Clovis
was transplanted to Pennsylvania in Colonial times from Southwestern Virginia.
His great-grandfather, Conrad Clovis, was born in Pennsylvania, and from that
state moved his family to Hebron, West Virginia, where he lived out his life
as a farmer. The grandfather of William E. Clovis was Solomon Clovis, who was
born in Monongalia County, West Virginia, in 1818, but spent nearly all his
life in Pleasants County and was a cabinet maker by trade. He died in 1876
and is buried at Hebron. His wife was a Miss Wrick, a native and life long
resident of Pleasants County. Amos Clovis, their son, was born near Hebron
August 13, 1854, and since 1885 has been a resident of Maxwell in Pleasants
County. He was a merchant in early life, and since then has been a leading
farmer and still owns two farms at Maxwell. He is a republican and an
active member of the Church of Christ. Amos Clovis married Martha Jane
Fleming, who was born near Fairmont, West Virginia, July 15, 1856.

William E. is the oldest of their children. Dr. Elijah Ellsworth is
one of the state’s prominent physicians and is now superintendent of the State
Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Terra Alta. Cora Elizabeth is the wife of Homer F.
Simonton, Circuit Court clerk of Pleasants County. Harry T. is an oil refiner
at St. Marys, and the youngest, Maurice Lawrence, is in the drug business at

William Edward Clovis was born at Hebron, Pleasants County, November 7, 1876,
and acquired a rural school education there. He finished his education in the
Fairmont State Normal, which he attended altogether for five terms. He was
granted an opportunity to teach school at the age of eighteen, and the first
year he taught in the Jonestown School of his native county. Then for two
years he had charge of the French Creek School, one year in the Ruckman School
on Cow Creek, and his last year was spent in his home school at Nine Mile.
After leaving the schoolroom Mr. Clovis was deputy county assessor one year.
For some time he cherished an ambition to become a physician, and with that in
view he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, but on
account of ill health had to give up those plans after the first year. From
1901 to 1908 Mr. Clovis conducted a mercantile business at Adlai in Pleasants
County. In the fall of 1908 he was elected sheriff, and on January 7,
1909, removed to St. Marys and was the chief law officer of the local courts
through the four year term ending in 1914. During 1913-14 Mr. Clovis was a
member of St. Marys Hardware Company, but in the meantime he had taken the
agency for the Ford cars, and since 1914 has made this his primary business.

He is the authorized agent in Pleasants County for the Ford automobile,
trucks and tractors, and has done the biggest business in that line of any
automobile agency in this section of the state. It is estimated that he has
sold at least ninety per cent of all automobiles bought in the county. During
1920-21 he erected a handsome public garage at the corner of Washington and
Third streets. The garage in 80×80 feet, two stories, and built of brick and
concrete. Mr. Clovis is also a director of the First National Bank of St.
Marys. He still retains a deep interest in educational progress and since July
1, 1919, has been president of the Board of Education in St. Marys. He is
an elder in the Church of Christ, is a republican, and during the war was a
“fourminute” speaker and a worker in behalf of all local patriotic causes.
April 16, 1899, at Gibson in Pleasants County, Mr. Clovis married Miss Mary
Varner, daughter of George W. and Angelia V. (Daniel) Varner, now deceased.
Her father was a minister of the Church of Christ. Mrs. Clovis received a
normal School education and prior to her marriage was a teacher in Pleasants
County for four years. Mr. and Mrs. Clovis have five children, and have given
all of them liberal educational advantages. Eunice Madge, the oldest, born
March 4, 1900, is a graduate of the St. Marys High School and the Fairmont
State Normal, and is now teacher of the fifth grade in the local
public schools. Cora Edith, born October 23, 1901, graduated from the same
schools as her sister and now has charge of the first grade in the St. Marys
public school. The only son, George A., was born October 25, 1903, and is
now a student in Marietta College in Ohio. The two younger children are
Martha Virginia, born November 15, 1906, a student in high school, and Mary
Edna, born November 21, 1910.

Joe Williams

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 36

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOE WILLIAMS is founder and publisher of the Pleasants County Leader, the
second oldest but the largest newspaper in point of circulation and influence
in Pleasants County and in fact one of the best edited journals in that
section of the state. Mr. Williams has been a citizen of invaluable influence
in St. Marys, is a former representative of Pleasants County, and was also
postmaster of St. Marys for a number of years.

His family were pioneers in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, going into that
mountainous section from old Virginia. His grandfather, Joseph Williams, was
born in 1800, owned a farm, but spent a large part of his time hunting. He
died in Greenbrier County in 1884. His wife was a Miss Brown a native of
the same county, who died in Kansas. James M. Williams, father of the St.
Marys editor, lived all his life on one farm in Greenbrier County, where
he was born in 1837 and died in 1909. He was a soldier in the Union Army.

At first he was a scout attached to the forces of General George Crook. Later
he joined Captain Andrew W. Mann’s Company of State Guards from Greenbrier
County, being enrolled in the Company December 1, 1864, and discharged July
1, 1865. This service was a particularly hazardous one in the No Man’s Land
between the Union and Confederate lines, and he had a full share in that
strenuous campaigning. He was a republican in politics and a member of the
Baptist Church. James M. Williams married Lavina McMillan, who was born in
1838 and died in 1905, spending all her life in Greenbrier County. They
became the parents of seven children: John R., who died on the Williams
homestead at the age of thirty, having taught school for a number of years;
Nellie Frances, wife of Moffat May, a farmer, stock raiser and lumber dealer
living near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; Luelle, wife of Rev. S. A.
Moody, a clergyman of the Adventist Church near Macon, Georgia; Joe; Mrs.
Maggie Burns, who died on the old home farm; Emra, a farmer at Myrtle Creek,
Oregon; Mrs. Cassie Christian, whose husband operates a part of the Williams

Joe Williams, who was born January 20, 1573, lived on the farm to the age of
eighteen and acquired his early education in the rural schools of Greenbrier
County. For two years he worked for N. S. Bruffey in a store at Falling Spring
in Greenbrier County, and then as clerk for W. H.. Overholt at the same place
about two years. During 1894-95 he attended Michaels University at Logansport,
Indiana, taking a business course, and in the fall of 1895 began in connection
with journalism at Sistersville as an employee of J. H. McCoy on the Daily Oil

On September 12, 1898, Mr. Williams moved to St. Marys and established the
Pleasants County Leader, of which he has since been proprietor and editor. He
owns the Leader Building and the entire plant, and has one of the best
equipped newspaper offices in this section of the state, including linotype
machines, cylinder press, etc. It is a republican paper, circulating
throughout Pleasants and surrounding counties, and has an extensive mailing
list to all the oil sections of the country.

Mr. Williams was postmaster of St. Marys from 1905 to 1913. He was reappointed
by President Taft, but the democratic Senate refused to confirm him for a
third term. He was city treasurer in 1914-15, and in November, 1918, was
elected on the republican ticket to represent Pleasants County in the State
Legislature. He was one of the very useful members in
the sessions of 1919-20. As a member of the educational committee he
helped frame the present school code. He was chairman of the committee on
executive offices and libraries, and a member of the committees on election
and privileges, insurance and Virginia debt.

Mr. Williams affiliates with the Presbyterian Church, is a past master of St.
Marys Lodge No. 41, F. and A. M., a member of Sistersville Chapter No. 27, R.
A. M., Mountain State Commandery No. 14, K. T., Nemesis Temple of the Mystic
Shrine at Parkersburg, and St. Mary’s Chapter No. 31 of the Eastern Star.
During the war he made the Pleasants County Leader an effective source of
influence and publicity for the Government and every patriotic cause
associated with the winning of the war, and was personally active in the
various drives in his locality. Mr. Williams owns a modern home at 501 First
Street and is also owner of a baseball park at St. Mary.

In 1899 he married Miss Eloise Bachman, daughter of Captain Martin and Margie
E. (Miller) Bachman, now deceased. Her father, who was a lumber manufacturer
at St. Mary, served as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil war. Mr.
and Mrs. Williams have four children: Nellie, born August 19, 1902, is in the
junior class at West Virginia University; and the three younger children, all
attending high school, are Doris, born in June, 1905; Joe, born in August,
1906, and Mazie, born in May, 1908.

James M. Snively

Pleasants County, West Virginia – Biography of James M. Snively.


James M. Snively

Born Sept. 3, 1841, in Monroe County, O., where he was living when he
enlisted, at Clarington, Sept. 15, 1862, as a private in Co. A, 77th. O.V.I.
(16 A.C.); he had previously been engaged for the Government in the Carrying
Trade on the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, and was at the Pittsburg Landing
with the steamer Liberty at the time of the battle at that place. At Alton,
Ill., February, 1863, he was sick in hospital with typhoid fever and mumps;
he took part in the fifteen days fighting in and around Little Rock, Ark.,
and from there to Camden, in that State; also in the battle of Mark’s Mills,
the siege of Mobile — including the attacks on Spanish Fort and Fort
Blakely — and in many skirmished and minor engagements. At Mark’s Mills,
April 15, 1864, his haversack and canteen were shot away, and he was
captured by Kirby Smith’s Command. For ten months following, he was a
prisoner at Camp Ford, Texas,, subjected to all the hardships and privations
which the inhuman Commander of that prison-pen could inflict. On being
released from prison he received a parole furlough for thirty days, and on
expiration of same rejoined he command at Mobile, Ala.; he was discharged,
July 19, 1865, at Clarksville, Texas, and Jan. 31, 1867, married in Monroe
county, Mary E. Terry, who was born in the county, Sept. 9, 1846, and died
Feb. 12, 1892, daughter of George and Eliza (Williams) Terry, both now
deceased. They had five children; Ida B. (now Mrs. Steel), b. Dec. 1867,
Clara J., b. Dec. 29, 1870, Cora A., b. March 1, 1872, Emma E., b. Dec. 10,
1874, and Sylvia M., b. June 10, 1883. Mr. Snively’s parents were Benj.
Snively, who served in the 36th. O.V.I. , and was discharged for disability,
died 1867, and Mary A. (Parskale) Snively, born 1869, yet living. Mr.
Snively’s brother John L., served for three years in Co. E, 116th. O.V.I.,
died 1876, and two of Mrs. Snively’s brothers, Franklin and Charles Terry,
were also in the Union Service, the former in an Illinois regiment, and the
latter in the 25th. Ohio, and subsequently, for five years in the Regular
Army. Comrade Snively has served his township as supervisor and school
trustee, and is a class leader in the M. E. Church; he is a member of Hazen
Post, No 66, G.A.R., Dept. of W. Va., and receives a pension; he is a
prosperous farmer, owning 102 acres of good land near Raven Rock, Pleasants
county, W. Va., which is his post office address.

Submitted by Mary Louise Rea Lamp (James’ Great Granddaughter).

Dan B. Fleming

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 75

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

DAN B. FLEMING was in the ranks of West Virginia’s educators for twelve or
fifteen years, and resigned as city superintendent of schools at St. Marys to
become cashier of the Pleasants County Bank.

Mr. Fleming was born at Ravenswood in Jackson County, West Virginia, November
15, 1885. The Flemings are of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and his grandfather,
Bartholomew Fleming, settled at Ravenswood in 1820. He was a native of
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He spent his active career at Ravenswood,
where he established a ferry and was one of the first merchants. His wife was
Hannah Warth, who was born near Ravenswood and died there. They were the
parents of six children: Oscar, who became a farmer and died in Meigs County,
Ohio; George P., a retired wharf master at Ravenswood; Miss Carrie, of
Ravenswood; Mrs. Emma Polsene, a widow living at Ravenswood; Henry C.; and
Winfield S., a general contractor in Denver, Colorado.

Henry C. Fleming was born at Ravenswood June 30, 1845, and has spent all his
life there. For many years he has been the leading photographer in that
section of the state. He was for several terms a member of the City Council,
is a democrat, a member of the Masonic fraternity and a supporting leader in
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Henry C. Fleming married Lillian
Rhodes, who was born at Cottageville, Jackson County, in 1851. She is the
mother of three children: The oldest, Jessie, is the wife of Max E. Polsene, a
musician at Ravenswood; James is in the internal revenue service at
Parkersburg; and Dan B. is the youngest.

Dan B. Fleming graduated from the Ravenswood High School in 1904. He
subsequently spent a winter term in Marietta College of Ohio, and for two
years taught in Ravenswood, spent one year in the schools of Mason County, and
in 1910 graduated from Marshall College, the State Normal at Huntington.
Following his graduating Mr. Fleming was teacher of mathematics and science in
the high school of St. Marys one year, was then elected and served four years
as principal of the high school, and was next promoted to superintendent of
city schools and had charge of the administration of the city school system
until 1920.

In January, 1921, Mr. Fleming was elected cashier of the Pleasants County
Bank. This bank was established in 1897, being opened for business on March
17th. The first president was Newton Ogden, who afterward was state treasurer
of West Virginia; the first cashier was Mr. Isaac Reynolds. This bank has a
capital of seventy-five thousand dollars, surplus and profits of twenty
thousand dollars, and deposits approximating five hundred thousand dollars.

The bank is under a state charter and has occupied its modern bank home, a
structure of stone and brick, since 1901. The present officers of the bank
are: 0. C. Barkwill, president ; P. S. Tarbox, of Oil City, Pennsylvania,
vice president; Dan B. Fleming, cashier; Evert L. Burk, assistant cashier;
while the directors are 0. C. Barkwill; C. F. Ruttencutter, sheriff of
Pleasants County; Dan H. Reynolds of Pa.rkersburg; Dr. George H. Gale of
Newport, Ohio; E. H. Morgan, C. C. Schauwecker, George Phillips and T. J.
Taylor of St. Marys, and Lou Wells of Bens Run, West Virginia.

During the last years of his educational work Mr. Fleming was, during the
summers of 1919-20, superintendent for the Redpath Chautauqua Bureau, covering
Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin. During
war time he was secretary of the Pleasants County Chapter of the Red Cross,
made many speeches- throughout the county in behalf of all the auxiliary war
organizations, and gave much of his time to this patriotic duty. Mr. Fleming
is a democrat, is a trustee and steward of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, and is affiliated with St. Marys Lodge No. 41. A F. and A. M.,
Sistersville Chapter No. 27, R. A. M., West Virginia Consistory No. 1 of the
Scottish Rite at Wheeling, Nemesis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Parkersburg,
and St. Marys Tent No. 20, Knights of the Maccabees. Mr. Fleming built his new
home on Fourth Street in 1921. He married in St. Marys August 2, 1914, Miss
Ruth Sayre, daughter of Edward A. and Ella (Gist) Sayre, residents of St.
Marys. Her father was formerly cashier of the Pleas ants County Bank and
one of its organizers. Mrs. Fleming is a graduate of the local high school.

They have one daughter, Katherine Eleanor, born May 11, 1915.

Clinton W. Flesher

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg 289

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

CLINTON W. FLESHER In the profession of law in Braxton County a name that has
become well known and that is invariably identified with legal ability and
personal probity is that of Clinton W. Flesher, a successful practitioner of
Gassaway. During his career Mr. Flesher has been a teacher and has had
experience in the field of insurance writing, and while his prosperity has
been gained in his present calling, a part of that prosperity is probably clue
to the experience gained through his connection with the OTHER vocations

Mr. Flesher was born in Pleasants County, West Virginia, September 10, 1870,
and is a son of Crayton and Harriet R. (Taylor) Flesher. His father was born
in Lewis County, West Virginia, in 1841, a son of Isaac Flesher, the latter
also born in Lewis County, in 181.0. Adam Flesher, the father of Isaac, was
born in Lewis County, in 1754, at Weston (then called Flesherville in honor of
the family), he being the son of Henry Flesher, who was born in England and
immigrated to America. when a boy, settling at. Weston. Henry Flesher settled
as a pioneer in Lewis County, where he built a fort on the site of Weston as a
protection against the savages in 1730, but in spite of this precaution lie
and his family here surprised and all slaughtered later by the hostiles with
the exception of the mother and one son, Adam, who managed to make their
escape to the distant fort. at the point now known as Janelew.

Crayton Flesher grew to maturity in his home community where he received his
education in the public schools, and as a youth learned the trade of
carpenter, which he was following at Parkersburg as an apprentice at the time
of the outbreak of the war between the North and the South. He enlisted in the
Union army and served bravely with an infantry regiment of volunteers until
the close of the war, at which time he returned to Pleasants County and
resumed his trade, which he followed with success until his death.

October 1, 1879, when his son was only nine years of age. His widow still
survives him at an advanced age, being a resident of Williamstown, West
Virginia. They became the parents of six sons, as follows: Clinton W., of this
notice; Harry E., a graduate of the State Normal School at Fairmont, and now
superintendent of the Industrial School for Boys at Pruntytown; T. Earl, who
is engaged in agricultural operations in the vicinity of Fleming, Ohio; Forest
F., who is engaged in the contracting business in Oklahoma; Okey J., who is
following the machinist’s trade at Jackson, Michigan; and Crayton, Jr., who is

Clinton W. Flesher was reared on a farm in Pleasants County, West Virginia,
and received his early education in the graded schools. Later he pursued a
course at the normal school at Fairmont, West Virginia, from which lie %%as
graduated in 1894, and for ten years thereafter taught school, his last work
as an educator being in the office of superintendent of the city schools of
Elkins, this state. During this time Mr. Flesher studied law, and, having been
admitted to the bar, applied himself to the practice of his calling and the
writing of insurance at Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1905 he came to Cassaway,
where lie has since been engaged in the practice of his vocation, with a
constantly increasing practice. In September, 1916, Mr. Flesher was appointed
referee in bankruptcy by Judge Ben,jainin F. Keller, and has served in that
capacity to the present time. In the ranks of his profession he is held in
high esteem, and his official record has always been an excellent one.

On September 1, 1896, Mr. Flesher was united in marriage with Miss Mary E.
Powell, who was educated in the public schools of E likens, West Virginia,
where prior to her marriage she was engaged in teaching. To this union there
have come two children. Lucille, born July 1, 1899, is a graduate of the high
school at Buckhannon, and at present is a senior at Goucher College at
Baltimore, Maryland. Clinton Wellrose, Jr., born December 16, 1905, is a
freshman at the West Virginia University. Mr. and Mrs. Flesher are members of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Flesher was president of the
Conference Laymen’s Association from 1907 to 1919. He was a delegate to the
general conference in 1912, 1916 and 1920. He has also served as a member of
the Board of Sunday Schools and is a member of the executive committee of the
International Sunday School Association. Mr. Flesher is a member of Bright
Hope Lodge No. 557, F. and A. M., at Knoxville, o£ which he is a past master,
is a thirty-second degree Mason, and belongs to Osiris Temple, A. A. 0. N. M.
S., at Wheeling, West Virginia, in all of which he has numerous friends. His
business interests are numerous and important, and be is nearly as well known
as a capable business man as he is as a skilled and industrious attorney. He
is a stockholder in the Gassaway Development Company and the Gassaway
Pharmacy, and is owner of the Flesher Building, in which the postoffiice is
situated. He is counsel for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Gassaway
Development Company, Standard & Company and the J. C. Penoyer Company, and
represents R. G. Dun and other agencies. He and Mrs. Flesher belong to the
Order of the Eastern Star, and Mr. Flesher is also a member of the Knights of

Guy Carleton Mactaggart

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 506

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

GUY CARLETON MACTAGGART is now in his third term as county superintendent of
schools of Pleasants County. He began his career as a teacher at the age of
eighteen, has had a successive and successful experience as a teacher in a
number of districts in the county, and he brought to his office as county
superintendent not only the qualifications of an able educator but a thorough
knowledge of school conditions of this section.

Mr. MacTaggart was born in Grant District of Pleasants County, January 23,
1885. He is of Scotch ancestry. His grandfather, Hugh MacTaggart, was born in
Scotland in 1819, son of William and Jennie MacTaggart, who three years later,
in 1822, came to America and settled on Short Creek near Wheeling, but after a
few years moved to Willow Island in Pleasants County, where William
MacTaggert acquired a large amount of land and engaged in the sheep industry
on an extensive scale. He and his wife died at Willow Island. Hugh MacTaggart
grew up there, married and then removed to the vicinity of Eureka in Pleasants
County, where lie carried on his operations as a farmer. He died at his
home near Eureka in 1909, at the age of ninety. His wife was Dicinda Phillips,
a native of Ohio. William P. MacTaggart, father of Superintendent MacTaggart,
was born May 21, 1,854, near the farm where he now resides, located a mile
and a half west of Eureka.

Farming has been his life occupation and from it be has provided amply for
himself and family. He owns both a hill farm and river farm. He is a
republican, and a leader in the Baptist Church of his home community.

William P. MacTaggart married Ida Virginia Rhymer, who was bore at St.
Marys, October 20, 1855. Of their children Guy Carleton is the oldest. The
second, William Carey, died at the age of nine years. Grace is the wife
of Winton E. White, a farmer at Point Pleasants in Mason County. Miss
Maude is at home. Laura, a former teacher, is now attending the Mountain
State Business College at Parkersburg.

Miss Mary teaches the Wolf Run School in Pleasants County. Miss Dicie is at
home. Georgia is the wife of Ralph A. Smith, an employe of the Octo Gas
Company at hushing, Ohio.

Guy Carleton MacTaggart was educated in the rural schools of Pleasants County
and the public school at St. Marys. He left school at the age of eighteen, and
his first work as a teacher was done in the Spice Run School. Then followed a
tern in the Raven Rock School two terms at Mount Olive, his home school,
three terms at Eureka and one term at Belmont, all in Pleasants County.
Air. MacTaggart in November, 1912, was elected county superintendent of
schools to fill a vacancy caused by the death of his predecessor. For that
reason he began his duties immediately, and in 1914 was elected for the full
four year term and in 1’918 for a second full term, running from 1919 to 1923.
His offices are in the Graded School Building on Washington Street in St.
Marys. He has under his supervision seventy-six schools, seventy-six teachers,
with a scholarship enrollment of 2,500.

He is a member of the State Educational Association and Ohio Valley Round
Table, and keeps in touch with all the progressive movements in educational
affairs. lie was a member of the County Council of Defense at the time of the
war, a Four-Minute Speaker, and did all the work lie could for the successful
prosecution of the war. He is a republican, a member of the Baptist Church, is
affiliated with St., Marys Lodge No. 41, F. and A. M., Sistersville Chapter
No. 27, R. A. At, Mountain State Commander, No. 14, K. T., and Nemesis Temple
of the Mystic Shrine at Parkersburg.

Mr. MacTaggart’s home is at Eureka where lm owns a modern residence lie
married at Eureka, November 29, 1917, Miss Judith A. Ruckman, daughter of
Aaron and Rhoda (Outward) Ruckman. Her mother died in 1916 and her father is a
farmer at Eureka.

John L. Hissom

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 37

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOHN L. HISSOM. Many residents of Tyler and Pleasants counties recall when
John L. Hissom was one of the most popular school men in these sections, and
his last school work was done at St. Marys. When he left the school room he
took up the lumber business and now has the only business of the kind in
Pleasants County, and has an extensive trade both retail and wholesale. In
other ways Mr. Hissom has been a man of leadership and influence in this
section of the state. His ancestry is English, but members of the family have
been in this country since Colonial times. They first settled in old Virginia,
where Mr. Hissom’s grandfather, David, was born. As a young man he went to the
Ohio Valley and for many years lived on a farm in Monroe County, Ohio, but
spent his last days in Tyler County, West Virginia. He was a veteran of the
War of 1812. His wife was a Miss Bowen, a native of Ohio. Their son, William
S. Hissom, was born in Monroe County in 1828 and for many years conducted his
farm in that county, but in 1888 moved to Tyler County, West Virginia, and
continued farming there until his death in 1900. He was active in the
Methodist Episcopal Church and a democrat in politics. He married in Monroe
County, Sarah A. Hubbard, who was born at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1832 and
died in Tyler County in 1890. Their children were six in number: Manford C., a
farmer in Clarington, Ohio; Oscar E., a steamboat mate who died at East
Liverpool, Ohio, in 1916; John L; Alvin D., a farmer in Tyler County; Hattie
Elizabeth, who died in Tyler County, wife of Robert 0. Cathers, a farmer; and
Ephraim T., a farmer who died in Tyler County in 1900.

John L. Hissom was born in Monroe County June 28, 1362, and was reared and
educated there. He attended rural schools, a normal school at Woodsfield, and
in the winter of 1884 taught his first winter term in Mount Zion School in his
native county. The following four years he was in the Mount Aetna School in
the same county, after which he came to West Virginia, and during 18S9-90
presided over the Star School in Tyler County, for one term was principal of
the school at Friendly, and for six terms was teacher of Oak Grove. His first
teaching in Pleasants County was one term at Pleasants Ridge, and then for
three years he was principal of the graded schools at St. Marys. For a year
after he retired from educational work Mr. Hissom was editor of St. Marys
Oracle, the oldest paper in Pleasants County.

Then, in 1903, he established his present business as a retail and wholesale
dealer in lumber, and carries a complete and well selected stock of lumber and
building materials, owning his offices and yards at Barkwill and Court
streets. Mr. Hissom is also a stockholder in the Pleasants County Bank and is
a stockholder and secretary of the United Telephone Company at St. Marys. He
owns considerable real estate, including his modern home on Court Street and a
farm in Tyler County.

Mr. Hissom acted for two years as a member of the City Council at St. Marys.
He is a democrat, a steward in the Methodist Protestant Church, is a past
grand of St. Marys Lodge No. 22, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a
member of the Knights of the Maccabees. It should also be said to his credit
that during the war he used his financial means to support the Government and
took part in the various local patriotic drives. Moreover, one of his sons was
fighting the German Kaiser in France.

In 1885, in Monroe County, Mr. Hissom married Miss Eva Wright, daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. William Wright, now deceased. Her father was a farmer. Mrs. Hissom
died in Tyler County in 1889, and was survived by two daughters: Miss Nellie
T., who died at the age of thirty-one, and Nora D., wife of Jack B. Horner, a
mill worker at Washington, Pennsylvania. In 1891, in Tyler County, Mr. Hisson
married Miss Lottie J. Craig, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Craig, now
deceased. By this marriage Mr. Hissom has two sons, William C. and Olin S.
William, who was born June 20, 1892, was educated in the schools at St. Marys
and is associated with his father in business. He married Ethel Adams, a
native of Pleasants County, and their three children are Kathryn, born January
17, 1913; Billie, born September 10, 1915, and Charles, born July 4, 1919. The
second son, Olin, was in France twelve months with the Expeditionary Forces,
participated in the Argonne Drive, and was mustered out with the rank of
sergeant. He now is connected with the lumber business.